The Nigerian Institute of Shipping (NIS) has described its pioneer national president and life patron, late Chief Ayodele Afolabi who passed on recently at the age of 80 years as a rare shipping icon who pioneered indigenous manpower development in the nationâ€™s shipping sector.
Even as the family is set to announce final funeral arrangements for the first Nigerian General manager of the conglomerate; UAC Limited, the NIS, in a tribute paid to the late shipping icon described him as a pathfinder for the first generation shipping practitioners in Nigeria who although, had a humble beginning in life, but also rose to the enviable position of a top executive in the UAC and who transverse the length and breadth of the globe as a manager of personnel in the global shipping sector.
Leading NIS Council members on a condolence visit to the residence of the deceased last week, its national president, Chief Caleb Okoye described late chief Afolabi as a rare icon in the Nigerian shipping sector, a man who offered a very distinguished service to the sector and whose credentials are as intimidating as his amiable personality.
The NIS national president recalled the pioneering efforts of late chief Afolabi when NIS was formed and added that the deceased icon gave his all to ensure that the institute gained a prominent position in the Nigerian shipping sector.
While condoling with the deceased wife, Mrs Comfort Afolabi, he expressed joy that the late chief Afolabi lived a very fulfilled and worthy life. â€œAlthough it is natural to miss him, but be consoled by the fact that he lived a fulfilled and successful life and that he is survived by equally exemplary childrenâ€.
â€œTo us at the NIS, Chief Afolabi is not dead; he should be celebrated by all of us, his immediate family and all members of the shipping community in Nigeria, he was a pioneer in many ways and the history of the nationâ€™s shipping sector can not be complete without a mention of Chief Ayodele Afolabiâ€.
Chief Okoye equally recalled the late chief Afolabiâ€™s contributions to the shipping sector which culminated in series of appointment including:Â Chairman of Clearing and Forwarding Trade Group of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry between 1970 and1975, Chairman as well chairman,Â Shipping Trade Group of the same chamber betweenÂ 1975 and198. He was also a board member of NPA, board member, Nigeria Shippers CouncilÂ and member, Board of Trustee of Cargo Defence Fund
Apart from being the Life Vice President, Nigeria Association of Chamber of Commerce, Industry Mine and Agriculture, chief Afolabi was also, Life_Vice President of Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), part from several other value_adding services to humanity.